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9 min read

NetSuite for Construction: Transforming Construction Operations

NetSuite for Construction: Transforming Construction Operations

The construction industry is known for its complexities and unique challenges. 

Managing multiple projects, coordinating with various teams, and ensuring timely delivery while staying within budget are just a few of the hurdles construction businesses face daily. 

Traditional methods often need to provide the necessary tools for seamless operations, leading to inefficiencies and costly mistakes.

Enter NetSuite, a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution designed to address these challenges head-on. 

NetSuite offers an all-in-one platform that streamlines operations, enhances project visibility, and improves overall efficiency for construction businesses. 

However, choosing the right partner to implement and optimize NetSuite is equally important. 

Cumula 3 Group (C3) stands out as a leader in this space, offering expertise and experience to help clients succeed with NetSuite. 

Watch this construction industry spotlight to uncover how NetSuite adds value to your organization and experience an in-depth look at the key construction features on the NetSuite platform:


Let us help you transform your operations and drive growth in your construction business – Reach out today to schedule a free business assessment and demo.

Otherwise, keep reading to understand how NetSuite empowers your construction business.

Understanding NetSuite ERP


Today, NetSuite serves businesses worldwide, providing scalable solutions tailored to various industries, including construction.

It covers core functionalities like financial management, project management, inventory control, and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Here’s how NetSuite provides a range of features specifically designed to meet the needs of the industry:



Core Functionalities

  1. Financial Management: Automated accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting.
  2. Project Management: Tools for planning, scheduling, and tracking project progress.
  3. Inventory Control: Real-time tracking of materials and equipment.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Managing client relationships and project communications.

Cloud-Based Architecture

  1. Automatic Updates: Ensures the system is always up-to-date with new features and improvements.
  2. Scalability: Allows construction businesses to grow and adapt without significant IT investments.
  3. Accessibility: Data is accessible from anywhere, providing real-time insights and facilitating better decision-making.

Construction Accounting

  1. Cost Management: Tools to manage project costs and track expenses.
  2. Financial Reporting: Accurate and comprehensive financial reports.
  3. Compliance: Helps maintain financial health and adhere to industry standards.


NetSuite’s cloud-based nature and strong functionalities make it an ideal solution for construction businesses seeking to enhance efficiency and stay competitive in a demanding industry. 

Furthermore, NetSuite can stand alone to serve different industries including the construction industry, manufacturing, real estate organizations, oil rig companies, and many more.



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Key Features of NetSuite for Construction


Managing a construction business involves juggling multiple tasks, from project planning and budgeting to workforce management and customer relations. 

NetSuite provides a suite of features tailored specifically to address the needs of the construction industry, helping businesses streamline their operations and improve efficiency. 

Below, we explore some of the key features that make NetSuite an ideal choice for construction firms:


1. Project Management

NetSuite offers efficient tools for planning, scheduling, and tracking project progress. 

These tools ensure that projects stay on time and within budget, reducing delays and cost overruns. 

With real-time visibility into project status, managers can make informed decisions and keep projects on track.


2. Financial Management

Financial management is simplified with NetSuite’s automated accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting capabilities. 

This helps construction businesses track costs, manage cash flow, and ensure compliance with industry standards. 

The ability to generate accurate financial reports quickly is crucial for maintaining financial health and making strategic business decisions.


3. Inventory and Supply Chain Management

NetSuite provides real-time tracking of materials and equipment, ensuring that construction projects have the necessary resources when they need them. 

This reduces downtime and improves efficiency by ensuring that materials are available as required. Effective inventory management also helps in optimizing stock levels and reducing waste.


4. Workforce Management

NetSuite's payroll, time tracking, and HR functionalities streamline workforce management, helping construction firms manage their labor force more effectively. 

These features ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time, and that labor costs are monitored and controlled.


5. Retainage Management

NetSuite includes retainage management features, which are essential for the construction industry. 

This allows businesses to manage withheld payments efficiently, ensuring proper cash flow and compliance with contractual terms. 

Proper retainage management helps in reducing financial risks and maintaining project profitability.

Here's a detailed table explaining the Retainage Management feature in NetSuite:




Definition of Retainage

Retainage is a portion of the payment withheld until the project reaches a certain stage or is completed.

Ensures that contractors and subcontractors complete their work to the required standards.

Automatic Calculation

NetSuite can automatically calculate retainage amounts based on predefined rules and percentages.

Saves time and reduces errors in calculating retainage manually.

Flexible Retainage Terms

Allows for setting different retainage terms for various projects or contracts.

Provides flexibility to cater to different contractual agreements and project requirements.

Tracking and Visibility

Provides real-time tracking and visibility of retainage amounts withheld and released.

Ensures transparency and helps in managing cash flow effectively.

Integration with Invoicing

Retainage amounts are automatically integrated into the invoicing process.

Simplifies billing by including retainage in the invoices, ensuring accurate billing and payment processes.

Compliance with Contract Terms

Ensures that retainage management complies with the specific terms and conditions of contracts.

Helps in maintaining legal and contractual compliance, reducing the risk of disputes.

Reporting and Analytics

Generates detailed reports on retainage amounts, release schedules, and financial impact.

Provides insights into the financial health of projects and helps in making informed decisions.

Retainage Release Management

Manages the release of retainage amounts once project milestones are met or upon project completion.

Ensures timely and accurate release of funds, improving contractor relationships and trust.

Customizable Workflows

Allows customization of workflows to match specific business processes and retainage policies.

Ensures that the retainage management process aligns with the unique needs and policies of the business.


6. CRM and Customer Management

Managing client relationships and project communications is crucial in construction. 

NetSuite's CRM tools help maintain strong client relationships and ensure clear communication throughout the project lifecycle. 

This feature allows for better management of customer interactions and improves overall client satisfaction.


7. Job Costing and Budgeting

NetSuite’s job costing features enable precise tracking of project expenses against budgets. 

This helps in maintaining financial control and avoiding cost overruns. 

Accurate job costing ensures that all project costs are accounted for and helps in making informed financial decisions.


8. Change Order Management

NetSuite allows for efficient management of change orders, ensuring that any modifications to the project scope are tracked and documented accurately. 

This feature helps in maintaining project control and ensures that all changes are approved and accounted for properly.


9. SuiteApps Ecosystem

NetSuite has an entire ecosystem of SuiteApps designed to complement the construction industry. 

These SuiteApps are built inside of NetSuite and certified for their operability, meeting the unique needs of construction firms. 

The SuiteApps ecosystem provides additional functionality and customization options, ensuring that NetSuite can be tailored to meet specific business requirements.


10. AIA Compliant Billing

For construction businesses, billing can be complex. 

NetSuite supports AIA compliant billing, which is essential for managing payments and maintaining financial transparency. 

This feature ensures that all billing processes meet industry standards and reduces the risk of payment disputes.

Here’s a summary offering a range of features of AIA Compliant Billing:



Understanding AIA Compliant Billing

  1. Standardization: Uses standardized forms (G702 and G703) to ensure consistency and clarity in invoicing.
  2. Transparency: Clearly outlines work completed, amount billed to date, and remaining balance, reducing disputes.

NetSuite's Support for AIA Billing

  1. Automated Form Generation: Generates AIA compliant forms automatically, ensuring accuracy and consistency.
  2. Progress Tracking: Real-time tracking of project components for accurate billing.
  3. Integration with Project Management: Links billing with project management tools for seamless data flow.

Benefits of AIA Compliant Billing in NetSuite

  1. Improved Cash Flow: Ensures timely payments, enhancing financial health.
  2. Reduced Disputes: Detailed and transparent billing reduces payment disputes.
  3. Enhanced Professionalism: Standardized billing forms improve business reputation.

Customization for Specific Needs

  1. Tailored Templates: Customizable templates to meet specific client or project requirements.
  2. Detailed Reporting: Effective reporting tools for tracking billing status, outstanding invoices, and financial performance.


In addition to these core features, working with Cumula 3 Group (C3) can further enhance your NetSuite experience.

C3 helps guide clients to choose the right SuiteApps and customize NetSuite to fit their unique business requirements, ensuring an optimized and tailored solution.

Cumula 3 Group not only provides expert guidance and customized solutions but also offers training and ongoing support. 

Their deep understanding of the construction industry and their expertise in NetSuite implementations make them an invaluable partner. 

C3 ensures that clients get the most out of their NetSuite investment by providing comprehensive support and negotiating the best deals with NetSuite on behalf of their clients.

Leveraging the extensive features of NetSuite and the expertise of Cumula 3 Group, construction businesses can achieve greater efficiency, improved project management, and enhanced financial control. 

This combination of powerful ERP software and expert implementation services sets the stage for success in the construction industry.


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5 Ways NetSuite Improves Efficiency in Construction Projects


Implementing NetSuite in construction businesses brings a wide array of benefits that can significantly improve operations and drive success. 

Here are some key advantages:

1. Enhanced Project Visibility


a. Real-Time Data and Analytics

NetSuite provides real-time access to project data and analytics. 

This enables project managers to monitor progress closely, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and make informed decisions. 

The ability to view up-to-date information at any time helps anticipate issues and adjust plans accordingly.


b. Comprehensive Dashboards

Customizable dashboards present critical project information in an easy-to-understand format. 

This enhances visibility across all levels of the organization, from executives to project managers, facilitating better oversight and management.


2. Improved Collaboration


a. Seamless Communication

NetSuite fosters seamless communication among teams, subcontractors, and clients. 

Everyone involved can stay informed and aligned by providing a unified platform for project updates, document sharing, and messaging.


b. Centralized Information

All project-related information is stored in one place, making it easily accessible to all stakeholders. 

This reduces the risk of miscommunication and ensures everyone can access the latest data and updates.


3. Cost Management


a. Effective Budget Tracking

NetSuite’s financial management tools help construction businesses track budgets accurately. 

By monitoring expenditures in real-time and comparing them against budget estimates, businesses can avoid cost overruns and stay within financial limits.


b. Cost Control

Using NetSuite for cost management ensures good resource utilization and financial health for projects by identifying cost-saving opportunities and inefficiencies.

Effective cash flow management, as highlighted in construction accounting best practices, is crucial for the smooth operation of construction projects.


4. Risk Mitigation


a. Identifying Potential Issues

NetSuite helps identify potential risks early in the project lifecycle. 

Real-time data and analytics allow project managers to spot trends and anomalies that could indicate problems.


b. Addressing Issues Proactively

By addressing potential issues before they escalate, NetSuite helps reduce the likelihood of project delays, budget overruns, and other problems. 

This proactive risk management ensures smoother project execution and better outcomes.


5. Scalability


a. Adapting to Growth

NetSuite’s cloud-based architecture allows construction businesses to scale their operations easily. 

NetSuite can accommodate increased project loads, additional users, and expanded functionalities as the business grows without requiring significant IT investments.


b. Flexible Solutions

The platform’s flexibility means it can be customized to meet the changing needs of construction businesses. 

Whether expanding to new markets, adding new services, or adapting to industry changes, NetSuite can effectively support business growth.

By implementing NetSuite, construction businesses can streamline operations, improve project outcomes, and achieve better financial control. 

NetSuite's enhanced visibility, improved collaboration, effective cost management, risk mitigation, and scalability make it a strategic investment for any construction firm looking to thrive in a competitive market.


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Tailoring NetSuite for Your Construction Business


NetSuite can be customized to meet the unique needs of construction businesses. 

Its flexibility allows integration with other industry-specific tools and software, ensuring a tailored solution that fits perfectly with existing workflows. 

In addition to that, working with NetSuite implementation partners can also further enhance customization, providing a solution that addresses specific business requirements.

Here’s how:

1. Customizing NetSuite to Meet the Unique Needs of Construction Businesses

  1. Tailored Workflows: Construction businesses often have unique workflows that standard software may need to accommodate. NetSuite allows for the customization of workflows to align with specific business processes, ensuring that the system supports rather than disrupts existing operations.
  2. Custom Fields and Forms: NetSuite enables the creation of custom fields and forms to capture information unique to the construction industry. This ensures that all relevant data is accurately recorded and easily accessible.
  3. User Roles and Permissions: Customizing user roles and permissions ensures that team members have access to the information and tools they need to perform their tasks effectively while maintaining data security.

2. Importance of Working with NetSuite Implementation Partners for a Tailored Solution

  1. Expert Guidance: Implementing NetSuite can be complex, and working with experienced implementation partners like Cumula 3 Group ensures a smoother transition. These experts understand the specific needs of the construction industry and can tailor the solution to meet those needs.
  2. Customized Solutions: C3 can help customize NetSuite to fit your business's unique requirements. They can create custom workflows, integrate with other tools, and ensure the system is configured correctly, providing a seamless and optimized experience.
  3. Training and Support: C3 provides comprehensive training and ongoing support to ensure your team can effectively use the system. They help troubleshoot issues, optimize the system as your business grows, and ensure you get the most out of your investment.

3. How Cumula 3 and NetSuite Serve Different Construction Segments


NetSuite can be customized to meet the unique needs of various types of construction businesses. 

The table below highlights how C3 and NetSuite serves construction industry and its sub-industries:

Construction Segment 


How NetSuite Serves

General Contractors

Oversee entire construction projects from start to finish.

Provide comprehensive project management tools, financial tracking, and CRM.


Contractors who perform the work themselves rather than subcontracting.

Offer robust job costing, workforce management, and inventory tracking solutions.

Sub/Specialty Contractors

Focus on specific areas such as plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

Deliver specialized tools for project tracking, cost management, and compliance.

Land Owners & Developers

Manage the development of land for residential or commercial use.

Facilitate real-time financial analysis, project planning, and resource allocation.

Design & Engineering Firms

Provide design and engineering services for construction projects.

Support detailed project planning, resource management, and collaborative tools.

Creative Agencies

Handle creative aspects of building and design, such as architectural firms.

Enhance project collaboration, financial management, and client communication.

Engineer To Order

Design and build custom engineering solutions based on specific client requirements.

Enable custom workflows, detailed job costing, and integrated project management.

Custom Manufacturing

Produce custom-built components or structures for construction projects.

Offer advanced inventory management, custom order tracking, and production scheduling.

General Contractors

Oversee entire construction projects from start to finish.

Provide comprehensive project management tools, financial tracking, and CRM.


Contractors who perform the work themselves rather than subcontracting.

Offer robust job costing, workforce management, and inventory tracking solutions.

Sub/Specialty Contractors

Focus on specific areas such as plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

Deliver specialized tools for project tracking, cost management, and compliance.

Land Owners & Developers

Manage the development of land for residential or commercial use.

Facilitate real-time financial analysis, project planning, and resource allocation.


Customizing and integrating NetSuite to meet the specific needs of construction businesses maximizes the system’s effectiveness and ensures that it supports your unique operational requirements. 

Working with experienced implementation partners like Cumula 3, can provide a tailored solution that enhances efficiency, improves project management, and drives business growth.



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Conclusion – NetSuite for Construction


NetSuite offers a robust and comprehensive solution tailored to the unique needs of the construction industry. 

Implementing NetSuite in construction can have key benefits, including enhanced project visibility, improved collaboration, effective cost management, risk mitigation, and scalability. 

These features and benefits collectively contribute to a more streamlined and efficient operation, ultimately leading to better project outcomes and business growth.

Investing in NetSuite is a strategic move for any construction business looking to stay competitive and achieve sustained success. 

Its ability to adapt to the industry's evolving needs ensures that your business remains agile and ready to tackle new challenges.

Build a stronger foundation for your construction business with NetSuite  –  Contact us today to schedule a demo and see NetSuite in action.

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